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Job interviews - what are your weaknesses?

(30 Posts)
ButtonHogger Mon 17-Aug-20 14:25:44

if you were asked this in a job interview, how would you answer?

OP’s posts: |
WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Mon 17-Aug-20 14:33:54

I would say that I thought that line of questioning went out years ago.

What the smug answers are, I'm too thorough, like to make sure things are right etc., i.e. Your weakness is really a strength.
It would put me off an employer if they followed that line.

A bit like "If you were an animal what would you be? “
Answer "A fucking aardvark - because I would like to be listed first in the company's telephone directory"

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 17-Aug-20 14:38:50

I’m always honest about what my weaknesses are. It isn’t meant to be a trick question, the interviewer wants to know where you view yourself to lack skills or experience so they could build this into your training; and also wants to know that you’re self aware and how and what you’ve done or worked on in order to overcome your weaknesses.

LirBan Mon 17-Aug-20 14:40:10

I would say ''I'm too honest and I will put myself at a disadvantage to the other candidates if I answer this so I think I should stop talking now''!

LirBan Mon 17-Aug-20 14:41:01

Honestly, it's a very hard question. I used to hate criticism but I've learned to accept it now if I think about it and it's fair.

??

LajesticVantrashell Mon 17-Aug-20 14:45:42

Mine is true. I sometimes forget how to communicate effectively and get in email ping pong sessions with people to try and get an issue off my desk and onto theirs. So I now make it a rule to only email three times, then I'll phone or go and speak to them in person.

It's always gone down well and gets knowing nods from interviewers.

ButtonHogger Mon 17-Aug-20 14:53:19

Who is it really that old? 😭I'm so out of touch, its been almost 15 years since I've been interviewed, I'm currently preparing for one and this came up in my research as a common question!

OP’s posts: |
ButtonHogger Mon 17-Aug-20 14:54:07

lajestic thats a great answer, really shows that you've taken action to improve

OP’s posts: |
LirBan Mon 17-Aug-20 15:36:39

LajesticVantrashell

Mine is true. I sometimes forget how to communicate effectively and get in email ping pong sessions with people to try and get an issue off my desk and onto theirs. So I now make it a rule to only email three times, then I'll phone or go and speak to them in person.

It's always gone down well and gets knowing nods from interviewers.

Yes good one i like it. Sometimes you need to just speak to people

Pipandmum Mon 17-Aug-20 15:40:59

Stupid question. I really hope they aren't still asking it. Try saying something like 'I'm a good motivator and team leader, so I suppose my weakness is that I struggle to take a back seat and not take control of a situation'. That's what I'd say.

CookieSW Mon 17-Aug-20 15:53:58

They like to know you are self aware also, so what ever you choose, ensure that its not something that would impact the work they need you to do, but always end it with so when I have to do 'this' now I make sure that i do 'this'.
I once used my dyslexia as an example, but I made them aware it means me sometimes whisper to myself while typing, and checking my writting through a couple of times which only improves the outcome anyway. Hence I am learning to not allow it to impact my work.
And to be honest it never does, you soon realise how poorly others write in a poffesional context, even if they are not dyslex haha

Sophiafour Mon 17-Aug-20 16:56:10

I normally say something smiley along the lines of "Chocolate"...though it obviously depends on the role. If I was going to say something serious, I'd probably say something like, I've learned over the years that one of my areas for development has been making sure I don't overpromise and underdeliver, or I've had to learn how to delegate effectively over the years as when I first became a manager it took a while for me to learn how to let go of some of the nitty gritty of a project, or some other waffly nonsensical management speak sentence. My other favourite (not) always used to be, where do you see yourself in five years' time...

Purpleice Mon 17-Aug-20 17:02:32

I always say ‘sensitivity’ - which can be a strength (I’m a teaching assistant) but is also certainly a weakness.

lljkk Mon 17-Aug-20 17:22:47

I might say... Sometimes I think I know how to do something when I don't. Then I don't realise until I've wasted some time doing something wrong and I can get embarrassed to ask for help. I'm getting better at learning how to spot early that I don't know what I'm doing, and am hugely better than I used to be at admitting I got it wrong.

Thneedville Mon 17-Aug-20 17:24:56

Interviews are my weakness (absolutely true!!)

AgeLikeWine Mon 17-Aug-20 17:31:41

The truthful answer would be that I’m impatient, not particularly sociable, I have zero tolerance for PC euphemisms & bullshit and I don’t suffer fools.

The ‘acceptable’ version is that I can sometimes find it a little frustrating when things don’t happen as quickly as they might....

purplemunkey Mon 17-Aug-20 17:36:49

LajesticVantrashell

Mine is true. I sometimes forget how to communicate effectively and get in email ping pong sessions with people to try and get an issue off my desk and onto theirs. So I now make it a rule to only email three times, then I'll phone or go and speak to them in person.

It's always gone down well and gets knowing nods from interviewers.

This is a good example. Take a weakness but include how you tackle it/overcome it. Something like, ‘I sometimes find it easy to stay in my comfort zone so I make a point of challenging myself at least once a month’.

I don’t think it’s a dated question, still fairly common. It might be phrased differently e.g. how could you improve/up skill etc.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad question either, you should be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. But try and pick a weakness you can easily fix and explain how you.

killerofmen Mon 17-Aug-20 17:46:35

That's a terrible interview question and I wouldn't want to work anywhere that asks.

I would answer with an example a development area of identity and training I'd undertaken over the past 12 months to improve.

QueenOfWinterfell Mon 17-Aug-20 18:20:06

I wouldn’t expect a decent employer to ask this question as it’s been around for well over 20 years and any answer is going to be taken off the internet and not spontaneous.

Newbameforanewdecade Mon 17-Aug-20 18:23:20

It still is a common question and please don’t say something like “I’m a perfectionist”.
Actually answer it in relation to the job - so for example “I’m less familiar with x system” then with a positive “but I pick up computer systems very quickly and have used y, and z with minimal problems”. Or whatever suits the role.

ButtonHogger Mon 17-Aug-20 21:04:01

Thank you for all your help everyone, I've now got three examples prepared along with explanations of how I'm overcoming them, I'll see which suits the situation better if I am asked!

OP’s posts: |
KitKat1985 Mon 17-Aug-20 21:09:05

I usually go with "I struggle to be assertive at times, but am working on it as an issue and have learnt that it's often better to deal with something early on rather than let an issue fester, so I'm trying to learn to be more assertive and deal with issues early on before they become a bigger problem".

Best advice I've been given for this question is always say how you are trying to improve on whatever it is you say your weakness is.

BashfulClam Tue 18-Aug-20 00:41:42

Mine is that I’m too helpful. I’m too eager to show off what I know and dive in to helping people but then I can ge a bit of a control freak and take over and become too invested in someone else’s work. Twice when I have been mentoring I have felt I have been doing two jobs. I now wait to be asked, check where the person is with what the are doing, explain and ask them to let me check it once they have followed my Instructions.

Mishmased Tue 18-Aug-20 01:12:04

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat

I would say that I thought that line of questioning went out years ago.

What the smug answers are, I'm too thorough, like to make sure things are right etc., i.e. Your weakness is really a strength.
It would put me off an employer if they followed that line.

A bit like "If you were an animal what would you be? “
Answer "A fucking aardvark - because I would like to be listed first in the company's telephone directory"


🤣🤣🤣

MarkRuffaloCrumble Tue 18-Aug-20 01:27:43

DS was asked in an interview what he would do differently if he could go back in time. He had to stifle his first instinct, to say that he tries not to change anything when he goes back in time, due to the butterfly effect.

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